Tana Carosella, 67, stood ready behind stacks of books at the Christmas Bureau, greeting parents and asking their children’s ages and interests.
At the table for the littlest kids, ages 0 to 3, the answer to the latter Thursday was very often: “Trucks.” Carosella and other volunteers were prepared for this. She could offer, for starters, “Wheels on the Go” and “Vehicles.”
Carosella, of Spokane, knows what kids like, and she cares that they read. A member of a local chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority for women educators, she works with Volunteers of America President Marilee Roloff to help spearhead the bureau’s book program.
Volunteers use part of the Christmas Fund money to purchase books throughout the year. At the bureau, they help parents match titles to their children’s ages and interests. When the bureau opened Thursday, they had 14,000 books to give away.
Unfortunately, not a single one of them was about potties, Carosella had to tell a mother of a 2-year-old boy.
She showed one baby’s mother copies of a sturdy board book called “Fun With Chick.”
“That would work for a small one to hold in their hands and to chew on, basically,” Carosella said. “That’s what they do.”
Another woman knew just what to get.
“Babies like the Spider-Man,” she said, holding up a selection whose cover bore the unitard-wearing superhero. “Spider-Man and cars.”